letter on the subject, and requested to forward the matter as much as possible.
Every effort must be made to retard, if not prevent, the further progress of the enemy up the river. If he attempts to advance by batteries on the marshes or islands, he must be driven back, if possible. Bold scouts must be established on Elba, and the right and left banks of the river closely watched, so s to discover his first lodgment, when they can be broken up. With this view I invite your attention to the propriety of establishing a battery at Mackay's Point, to drive him from Elba. There are three 32-pounders that could be used for that purpose, if a battery there is deemed advisable. It could not be maintained against his gunboats should they enter the river in force, but might with the aid of boat attacks, prevent the establishment of batteries on Elba.
It is of the utmost importance that the work at every point should be pushed forward with the utmost vigor and the closest attention given to the whole subject of the defense of the city.
I am, &c.,
R. E. LEE,
GENERAL ORDERS, HDQRS. DEPT. SOUTH CAROLINA, &C., No. 6. Pocotaligo, S. C., March 4, 1862.
During the absence of General R. E. Lee, and in compliance with his instructions,* the undersigned assumes command of the Department of South Carolina, &c.
The headquarters of the department will be for the present at Pocotaligo Station, S. C., and all official communications intended for department headquarters will be addressed to Major T. A. Washington, assistant adjutant-general.
J. C. PEMBERTON,
STATE OF FLORIDA, EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT, Tallahasser, March 5, 1862.
Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN,
Secretary of War:
SIR: Permit me to present to your acquaintance the Hon. David S. Walker, who visits you with a copy of an order recently issued by General R. E. Lee to General J. H. Trapier.
The effect of the order is to abandon Middle, East, and South Florida to the mercy or abuse of the Lincoln Government. It cannot be possible that the order was intended to have such an effect. If strictly obeyed, the forces at Saint Augustine, on the Saint John's River, at Tampa, and at this place, have to be ordered to the defenses of the Chattahoochee River or to Tennessee. I cannot and will not believe that an order to have that effect would have been issued without previous notice to the executive of the State, that proper measures might have been advised for the protection of the lives, liberty, and property of the citizens of Middle, East, and South Florida. Moreover, the order, if executed, would not, with the forces now in Florida, secure the defenses upon the Chattahoochee, for, if the enemy were in possession of
*Special Orders, No. 34, of March 3.